Cornwall mum told to 'move out' for wanting damp and mould fixed in rented house rented from vicar

Sarah's children in one of the rooms plagued by mould Credit: BPM Media

A mum is at the end of her tether with damp and black mould plaguing her rented home, but claims her vicar landlord will not help her fix it.

Sarah Richards, who lives in Redruth, hit out at her landlord, who she said told her to “just move out” when she asked him to sort the problem in the three-bedroom property.

The 33-year-old has rented the property for around five years and lives with her three kids aged six, seven and 15, as well as her partner.

Around a year after moving in, Sarah said she noticed the mould and, at first, did not know what it was.

The mould in Sarah's home Credit: BPM Media

Once she realised it was mould, she says she “tried everything” to get rid of it from opening windows, heating, cleaning and trying home remedies.

She said it was being caused by damp and had spread across the house. Sarah said: “It was in every single room.

“Even in the hallway. In the kitchen, my bedroom, the girls' room. I saw in theirs the wallpaper had begun to pull down with damp under there.

“When environmental health came they ran their hand down the wall and it was soaking.”

Sarah Richards in her damp and mouldy rented house Credit: BPM Media

Pictures Sarah took show the extent of the mould - it covers the lower walls of most rooms, and is particularly shocking against the pink wallpaper of her children's bedroom.

Sarah reported the issue to environmental health around six months after first discovering the damp - having hoped she could fix it herself at first - and then contacted her landlord.

She said he was extremely unhappy she had called in professional help, and refused to fix it - and when asked what Sarah should do suggested she simply move out.

She claims her landlord says the house is her responsibility and when she protests, he tells her to move out.

The mould is present throughout the property Credit: BPM Media

“Move out, with what funds?” Sarah continued, “I can’t just up and move, I don’t have the money for that.

"And besides, have you tried to find somewhere to live in Cornwall?

“I’m on every site, I’m on the list for Coastline Housing. I’m putting myself out there but I can’t.

“It’s a nightmare, my daughter is mildly asthmatic and it gets worse with the mould. My other kids never used to get coughs but now they’re always spluttering.

“My partner has breathing issues and it makes it worse too. I am afraid of people coming over to my house.

“It’s not messy, but the mould makes me feel like it’s dirty and disgusting.”

She added the bathroom in the house, which she said was from the 1960s, is also falling apart and the landlord had given her the same response to a request to perform some repairs.

The landlord was approached for a response to Sarah’s complaints, but declined to comment.